Downtown - Fort Point - Leather District - Seaport neighborhood notes
ARC needs blood – critical shortage
American Red Cross is urging people to make a blood donation to help maintain their supply amid the pandemic. Help save a life by donating blood!
A blood drive will be held at the following places:
Monday, Feb. 22
- 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gather, 75 Northern Ave.
Friday, Feb. 26
- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Big Night Entertainment Group, 110 Causeway St.
- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at AC Hotel by Mariott Boston Downtown, 225 Albany St.
You can also donate at the Boston Blood Donation Center, 274 Tremont St.
from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; from noon to 8:15 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays; from 11:30 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Thursdays; and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Fridays.
Every blood donation will be complimentary tested for the coronavirus antibody.
Sign up at www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive or phone 1-800¬-RED CROSS (1-800¬-733-2767).
The Strindberg classic Miss Julie is audaciously revised in this hypnotic production from internationally praised Brazilian theatre-maker Christiane Jatahy.
A stunning multimedia riff on the Swedish playwright's combustible tale, Miss Julia is a power play of sex, lies and videotape.
Go to emersontheatres.org for more information and tickets, available for on-demand viewing through 10 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22.
GA's Tech Week
General Assembly Boston is hosting Tech Week, a weeklong festival of free workshops, panel discussions, and interactive events exploring emerging technology and how it intersects with other industries from Monday, Feb. 22 through Friday, Feb. 26.
For more information, visit generalassemb.ly/education.
Help save a life at the MGH Bloodmobile
The need for blood does not stop – not even during a pandemic! Due to business and school closures and restrictions, blood donations have been down by as much as 60 percent.
Stop by CIC Boston, 50 Milk St. from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 and donate blood in the MGH Bloodmobile.
Reserve your time slot at www.eventbrite.com/e/cic-blood-drive-boston-tickets-138613046353?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.
February School Vacation Week: Family Virtual Cinema
Kick back from the comfort of your home and watch art unfold with the family through Sunday, Feb. 28.
Grab some popcorn and delve into a selection of inspiring short films from the New York International Children’s Film Festival.
Visit www.icaboston.org/calendar for more information, including a list of the films and how to watch them free.
‘Celebrating What Unites Us!’ virtual cooking series
The “Celebrating What Unites Us!” virtual cooking series will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays as follows:
- Feb. 24 – African Heritage Cuisine
- March 24 – Seafood
- April 21 – Flavorful Flatbreads: Cultural Variations on a theme
During each session a chef will show people how to prepare a delicious meal, celebrating the cultural heritage of many residents of Boston and beyond.
This program is hosted by Oldways in collaboration with Age-Friendly Boston and Friends of Armenian Heritage Park on The Greenway to keep people connected and coming together.
Visit ArmenianHeritagePark.com to register for Zoom link, recipes and more details.
ICA Art (Co) Lab
Art (Co) Lab is a weekly virtual program for youth in grades 6-8 focused on contemporary and visual art making. Inspired by installations and projects in the Bank of America Art Lab, participants will explore various art materials, methods, and ideas to grow as artists and create a creative online community.
Create art and work with ICA staff, teaching artists and assistants, along with special guest artists from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 through May 26 (13 sessions; no class on April 21).
Art Materials Kit will be provided and scholarships are available.
Visit icaboston.org for more information and registration (Free for BPS students with code BPS2020 | $168 for members | $210 for nonmembers).
Bright Lights: ‘Coded Bias’
Modern society sits at the intersection of two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence increasingly governs liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is biased against?
When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and the faces of women, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not neutral and women are leading the charge to ensure civil rights are protected.
The film will be available for viewing from 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 and 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25.
A live 45-minute moderated discussion of this documentary with director Shalini Kantayya will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25. Conversations will stream within the film viewing platform and on Zoom.
Visit emersontheatres.org for more information and registration.
The Artist’s Voice: Zanele Muholi
Influential artist and activist Zanele Muholi will discuss their work in conversation with Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, including the ongoing portraiture series Faces and Phases from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25.
Select works from the series, which seeks to document and uplift Black queer South African communities, are on view in i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times.
Zanele Muholi HonFRPS is a South African artist and visual activist working in photography, video, and installation. Muholi’s work focuses on race, gender, and sexuality with a body of work looking at Black lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex individuals.
Visit icaboston.org for more information and to RSVP for a link to the virtual program premiere (Digital + Free | please consider a $5 donation to support the event).
‘Arrive as Strangers, Leave as Friends: A Brief History of US Hostels’
Over the past 80 years, the American hosteling experience has offered millions of people young and old an affordable and engaging way to see the United States and make new friends.
In this talk by author and frequent hosteller Max Grinnell from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25, people will learn about the origins of hostels in the United States, see some unique documents from hosteling history and find out about the American Youth Hostel archive at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Along the way, Grinnell will share some of his memories from his first solo trip around the United States, which found him spending time at hostels in Boston, Chicago and New Orleans.
Go to eventbrite.com/e/arrive-as-strangers-leave-as-friends-a-brief-history-of-us-hostels-registration-132445322525 for more information and registration.
Virtual Play Date: Story makers
Kids and their grownups are invited to join ICA for live interactive workshops and self-serve activities on Friday, Feb. 26.
Participants must supply their own materials.
Visit icaboston.org for more information and Zoom registration (free | please consider a $5 donation to support the event).
Chinese brush painting for adults: Four seasons
Learn to paint the four seasons, each distinguished by its own temperature, weather patterns, plants and animals.
Relax, create and meditate with Chinese brush painting from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, March 27 and April 24.
The online classes will be taught in Mandarin, English-friendly.
Go to www.paoartscenter.org/events/2020/chinese-brush-painting-for-adults-fourseasons for more information and registration ($15 per class without supplies | $35 per class includes supplies picked up at Pao Arts Center or mailed at additional cost).
The second semester of SpeakEasy University will be held from 5 to 6:15 p.m. on Tuesdays through March 30 via Zoom.
They will explore an in-depth analysis of theatre producing and arts administration by walking through the production process of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Each week, a different part of the theatre industry will be covered, illustrated through the lens of Curious Incident.
People can sign up for any or all of the sessions. All sessions are ‘Pay What You Can.’
Go to speakeasystage.com/speakeasy-university for more information and registration.
The (UN)CONFINED exhibit, a collection of work by 17 printmakers, painters and sculptors, explores feelings caused not only by the pandemic quarantine, but also by figurative and literal boundaries. The exhibition will be on view through Tuesday, Feb. 23 at the FPAC Gallery, 300 Summer St.
Gallery hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and by appointment.
The artists are members of Shepherd & Maudsleigh Studio, a community of colleagues who have supported each other through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit www.fortpointarts.org to learn more.
Virtual Harpoon Shamrock Splash
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s first ever Virtual Harpoon Shamrock Splash will be held through Friday, March 12.
They’re challenging everyone to come up with creative ways to “splash” from wherever they are. So, grab a bucket of cold water, a cup of ice, fill up your bathtub, or find another fun, safe and creative way to polar plunge - all of the money raised goes to the Better Beaches Program.
With registration, people get Harpoon beer, a Splash koozie and entry into a raffle to win round trip flights on JetBlue.
During February, they will be awarding weekly fundraising prizes. Raise more money to win more prizes.
Get cold for a great cause… Visit shamrocksplash.org/default.asp for more information and registration.
Go anytime, anywhere with your all-access pass to health and fitness from the YMCA of Greater Boston which includes access to all YMCAs across the Commonwealth.
Get the full YMCA GO experience for free!
Go to ymcago.org for more information and registration.
Help Support MANNA Community Program at Cathedral Church of St. Paul
Although many other programs have closed during this pandemic, the feeding ministry of the MANNA Community at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont St. has expanded its ministry to accommodate the growing number of people in need.
In addition to the Monday Lunch Program, they are now serving breakfast and giving out water on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.
Serving these individually-packaged meals to a larger number of people in need comes at a greater expense to the church. Help keep this program alive by donating money to help purchase food and supplies.
Visit www.stpaulboston.org for more information.
Support Park Street Church Warming Center
Park Street Church has opened a warming center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Neighbors are invited in for a 90-minute chance to get warm, eat a meal, charge their phone and use the restroom.
The Warming Center also serves grab-and-go meals and hot drinks at the entrance to the church. They are seeking volunteers to make sandwiches from home and bring them to the church and/or become an in-person volunteer (two-hour shifts available). Financial donations and gift cards are also appreciated.
Visit www.parkstreet.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Support Homeless Outreach Ministry and Engagement (H.O.M.E.)
From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday nights and from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, the Homeless Outreach Ministry and Engagement (H.O.M.E.) at Park Street Church prepares hot meals and packages of socks, underwear and toiletries for men and women and then distributes them outside their church to their vulnerable neighbors who live on the streets of Boston.
The group is requesting donations of winter clothing (sizes M, L and larger) such as sweaters, jackets and boots for men and women.
If you would like to volunteer or make a donation of money, food, toiletries, gift cards, or clothing or would like additional information on ways to make a difference, contact email@example.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.parkstreet.org.
BPL Reading Challenge
As the pandemic drags on and Boston residents remain cooped up in their homes, the Boston Public Library invites readers throughout the city to participate in “Reading Together.”
In the challenge, each month has a distinct theme and participants are asked to read a book tied to the theme.
The library offers recommended book lists for the monthly themes for adults, teens and children at bpl.org/yearlong. Participant patrons can track their progress as well.
Visit bpl.org for more information.
Black Seed Writers Group + ‘The Pilgrim’
The Black Seed Writers Group meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays in Upper Sproat Hall at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul at 138 Tremont St. to produce a steady stream of poetry, protest, memoire, prayer and reportage.
The Pilgrim literary magazine features the works of hundreds of homeless, transitional and recently-housed writers.
Visit www.stpaulboston.org and/or www.thepilgrim.org for more information.
Young Adults Cafes Zoom gatherings
The Park Street Church offers Young Adult Cafes from 7 to 9:15 p.m. on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays, open to all young adults in the Greater Boston area.
The Tuesday café is comprised of young adults in their late 20s and 30s while the Wednesday café is designed for youth in their early 20s.
The Cafes meet virtually to help people stay connected in a healthy and safe way during these challenging times. The participants meet in a large group for worship, bible study and/or and fellowship and then break up into a variety of small groups, including ones for newcomers.
For more information, visit www.parkstreet.org or email email@example.com.
LRC: Self-Care Series
Self-care is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to take care of your mind, body and soul by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Doing so enhances the ability to live fully, vibrantly and effectively. The practice of self-care also reminds people that their needs are valid and a priority.
Join this facilitated living room conversations from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays through Feb. 24.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including the weekly topics, and Zoom registration.
College Worship Communities
Gather with fellow undergraduates at the Park Street Church as they stream church services together and then spend time in fellowship, reflection and prayer. Students of all spiritual backgrounds are welcome.
Join the morning community to stream the 11 a.m. (traditional with choir & organ) or the evening community to stream the 4 p.m. (Contemporary with Sunday Night Band). The groups hope to grow together in wisdom as they develop a deeper understanding of who God is on an intellectual and personal level.
Visit parkstreet.org/ministries/college for more information, including other college student-related events and groups.
Excited to give it a curl?
Curling Lanes on the Seaport Common will be open daily and bookable online or in-person in 30-minute increments for up to two hours. Lanes may have up to 12 people (6 on each side). Check in at the Guest Services Gondola for your reservation and to pick up equipment. All equipment will be fully sanitized between use, and sanitizer wipes are available at both curling lanes. Masks must be worn at all times. Signage will be available on-site with curling rules and tips.
Curling hours: Mondays – Fridays: 4 to 9 p.am.; Saturdays: noon to 9 p.m.; Sundays: noon to 8 p.m. through Sunday, Feb. 28.
This activity is free and open to the public.
Go to www.bostonseaport.xyz/event/snowport-curling for more information.
Operation ABLE (174 Portland St. Fifth Floor) provides employment services and training programs to job seekers from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds.
All services at Operation ABLE are being conducted remotely, including distance learning, coaching, and wrap-around services. Class enrollments are open for computer skills training and Health Care and Social Services training, among others.
Visit operationable.net for more information and registration.
Lyric Stage To-Go ‘The Walking Plays’
The Walking Plays is a new free audio play series of six short plays by Boston-based playwrights which unfold on a continuous route around the Back Bay, Downtown, and Theatre District neighborhoods.
The Walking Plays explore the private moments that we experience in public. Rediscover Boston through new eyes as you walk alongside intricate characters or experience these intimate stories in the comfort of your home.
The first two plays - On Paying Attention by David Valdes and Monster in the Sky - by Ginger Lazarus are now available with four more being released in the spring.
Visit www.lyricstage.com/to-go/walking-plays for more information and access to the plays.
‘The Fall of the House of Usher’
BLO (Boston Lyric Opera) moves from stage to screen for this brand-new, cinematic version of Philip Glass’ opera, The Fall of the House of Usher, based on the spellbinding, short story by Edgar Allan Poe.
William is summoned by his desperate friend Roderick to visit him and his dying sister Madeline in their mansion. A shroud of murder, deceit and the supernatural covers everything in this disturbing story inspired by a Boston family and their gothic home.
An opera in two acts with libretto by Arthur Yorinks, this reimagined version will be available through Wednesday, June 30 exclusively on operabox.tv.
Go to https://blo.org/usher for more information.
CraftBoston Mentor Program: Artist conversation
Meet J. Shannon Floyd and Christina Vincent, two remarkable artists who participated in the CraftBoston Mentor Program in 2019, in an artists’ discussion at www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLXwXDfc1WQ&feature=youtu.be.
See more of J Shannon Floyd's (glass) work on her website: www.jshannonfloyd.com.
See more of Christina Vincent's (wood) work on her website: www.christinamvincent.com.
Bulfinch Crossing projection ‘Float’
“Float” is a visual animation (with color, light and sound) that seamlessly integrates onto the beams and ceiling of the underpass of Bulfinch Crossing (Government Center Garage underpass at 1 Congress St.), transforming the underutilized space into an art exhibit.
The art installation can be viewed on foot, bike or from the safety of your car from dusk to dawn through Spring 2021. All visitors should practice city and state recommendations on social distancing.
Additional information can be found at: www.bulfinchcrossingprojections.com.
‘i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times’
On view at the Institute of Contemporary Art through May 23, i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times celebrates the power of experiencing art in person. This exhibition, which borrows its title from a Henry Taylor painting in the ICA collection, is conceived as an invitation to visitors to create a personal connection with works of art.
Comprising unique encounters with new acquisitions and iconic works from the ICA’s collection, the exhibition’s groupings, or scenes, address a range of topics, including ideas of home and history, social and material transformation and frames of identity in portraiture and sculpture.
Including works by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Kader Attia, Firelei Báez, Louise Bourgeois, Nan Goldin, Simone Leigh, Doris Salcedo and many others, i’m yours sparks wonder, encourages questions, challenges assumptions and provides a space for reflection.
Wen-hao Tien: ‘Home on Our Backs’
Through five works, Pao Arts Center’s Artist-In-Residence Wen-hao Tien explores concepts of nomad and home in-flux through the lens of past, present and future. Do they exist all at once?
Tien’s year-long research, community conversation and reflection cumulate in a body of poetic work that will continue to evolve post residency.
With this exhibition, inspired by local Asian American history, Tien and the Pao Arts Center welcome community conversations during this unprecedented time. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, June 26.
Go to www.paoartscenter.org/events/2020/homeonourbacks for more information.
Liberty Bell Boston A/R artwork
Boston was chosen for its role in one of the most complex and formative moments in U.S. history - the Boston Tea Party. Focused on early U.S. history, this location asks people to consider those who were granted rights, those who were excluded and the subsequent legacy of colonization.
Liberty Bell invites viewers to reflect on one of the early struggles for American liberty and independence while questioning how the Boston Tea Party shaped the future of the country and the contested definition of freedom.
On site, the augmented-reality artwork’s ephemerality illuminates the fragile moment the country faces. In this location, accessible to a public audience, Liberty Bell invites viewers the opportunity to consider their own experiences of liberty, freedom, injustice and inequality.
The drawing floats over the water of the Fort Point Channel between the Congress and Seaport bridges on the Harborwalk.
Meet the Instruments series
Join the New England Philharmonic and the Boston Children’s Museum for their annual Meet the Instruments series–virtually!
In this virtual series, kids learn about the different families of musical instruments and how those instruments fit together to make an orchestra. Each segment will introduce to a new family of instruments – strings, brass, and woodwinds – as the talented musicians from NEP share their instruments and their passion for making music.
Visit the Boston Children’s Museum YouTube Page to enjoy the series.
BHN scavenger hunts
“Explore Boston Harbor: A Waterfront-Wide Scavenger Hunt,” presented by Boston Harbor Now and their partners, will run through the winter in four locations: Charlestown, Downtown Boston, East Boston and South Boston.
Go to edventurebuilder.com/BHN to start the hunt.
BPL online Homework Assistance Program (HAP)
The Boston Public Library offers online homework help, mentorship and afterschool activities provided by trained high-achieving high school students from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays through May 14 (except during school holidays and vacations).
Students in grades K-8 are welcome on a drop-in basis, no registration required.
Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including the Zoom link.
Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals/food resource information
Boston Eats will continue to provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth –
18 years of age and under. No ID or registration required.
Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations and other information. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens is also included.
Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.
If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.
Boston Children’s Museum virtual tour and resources
Children can plot their next museum adventure by navigating past fun spots like the three-story New Balance Foundation Climb on the first floor and the Construction Zone on the third floor.
Among the resources are BCM Home Edition weekly activities that families can do together and 100 Ways to Play – from cooking and crafting (such as origami, beading, paper dolls and accessories), to imagination and observation games, to exploring and movement activities.
The “Big & Little” podcast for adults, about families, kids, and our world, explores relevant topics ranging from play, learning, creativity, resilience, and health through interviews with people from varied professions and who have different perspectives and experiences.
Visit bostonchildrensmuseum.org and/or follow their social media accounts for more information.
While the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) has temporarily closed its doors to the public, you can continue to connect to art and artists remotely with virtual programs, at-home art activities for kids and families, and by shopping online at the ICA store.
Visit icaboston.org for more information.
Boston Public Market
Boston Public Market is an urban, indoor, year-round marketplace at 100 Hanover St. featuring 35 New England artisans and food producers who offer locally-sourced fresh foods, prepared meals, crafts, and specialty items.
Boston Public Market also has online ordering and same or next day delivery service.
BPM winter hours: Wednesdays-Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. following health and safety protocols.
Check Instagram for frequent updates.
Visit bostonpublicmarket.org for more information, including special events.
Virtual Revolutionary Spaces
The Old State House and Old South Meeting House offer virtual experiences, including new exhibits and programs, readings, community conversations and performances on their new website: www.revolutionaryspaces.org.
Reflecting Attucks at the Old State House is a temporary exhibit exploring the life and legacy of Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Native descent who was the first to fall in the Boston Massacre, an act of protest widely viewed as a turning point on the road to American Revolution. This exhibit will be on view through March, 2021.
Subscribe to their newsletter and follow them on social media.
The Boston Cyclists Union
The Boston Cyclists Union invites people to get involved and join a working group or committee.
Volunteer working groups (Activist Group and Programming Group) meet monthly and play an important role in planning and organizing the Bike Union programs and campaigns. Participation in these groups offers a more active, “on-the-ground” influence than traditional volunteer opportunities.
The three board committees (Development, Finance and Operations, and Governance) support the staff in long-term planning and strategy. Each committee meets monthly.
All meetings are open to all interested parties. Dates and locations along with other information can be found on their website at bostoncyclistsunion.org.
St. Francis House
St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St. – the largest day shelter in Massachusetts – continues to welcome more than 500 poor and homeless men and women a day for emergency refuge services.
Here are ways you can help support the St. Francis House mission:
- Make a gift to the SFH COVID-19 Emergency Fund
- Donate disposable masks, homemade masks, and materials for staff to make masks.
- Support their basic services by purchasing clothing and toiletries for their guests through their Amazon Wishlist.
Your gift has the power to rebuild lives; St. Francis House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; all donations are tax deductible.
Visit stfrancishouse.org to learn more, including links to support their mission.
Artists for Humanity has a limited-edition collection – in addition to one of the largest collections of teen-created fine art in Boston and perhaps the nation – that amplifies AFH teen artists' creative expression during these pivotal times, providing them a platform for shaping how society moves forward to create a better, more equitable world.
Visit www.afhboston.org for more information, including links to purchase their artworks. Reduced shipping rates are available.
You can also peruse your daily dose of art on Instagram @AFHBoston.
If you’ve enjoyed ICA’s free Thursday Nights, Holiday Mondays, talks, tours, film screenings and family programs – or would like to see more of them – consider a small donation of $5 or more today. Your support helps keeps programs such as these free and accessible to all.